LE BOXEUR ET LA MORT

By : Peter Solan

With : Stefan Kvietik (Jan Komínek), Manfred Krug (Kraft), Valentina Thielová (Helga), Józef Kondrat (Venzlak)
Slovaquie, 1963, PAL, 4/3 - 120 min
zone 2, N&B,
12.00 €


English title: THE BOXER AND DEATH
Original title: BOXER A SMRT

Directed by : Peter Solan

With : Stefan Kvietik (Jan Komínek), Manfred Krug (Kraft), Valentina Thielová (Helga), Józef Kondrat (Venzlak)
Slovakia, 1963, PAL, 4/3 - 120 min
zone 2, black and white

Original Slovakian version with French subtitles

In a Nazi concentration camp, an escapee awaiting execution is spared when the commandant, a former prize-fighter, discovers the prisoner has amateur boxing ability. Ordered to train, he gradually sharpens his skills.
THE BOXER AND DEATH deals with the theme of individual relationships and conflict between people in the environment of a small concentration camp during World War II. The symbolic boxing match between the commander of the camp and a prisoner constitutes the metaphor of the unequal struggle of military power and oppressed innocent people. In the gradual re-birth of the resigned prisoner into a defiant hero, the film becomes an emotional utterance with deep thoughts about the existential situation that under the oppression of power affects the lives of individuals and the community. Solan’s film is free of any ideologising or simplified interpretation of historical reality; his accurate direction offers a dramatic story built on thorough psychological analysis of his characters and the gradual development of the basic conflict up to its metaphorical utterance.

Peter Solan was born in 1929, in Slovakia (then Czechoslovakia). After graduating in Prague 1953, he came back to Bratislava. Honesty and bravery, two of his most prominent creative aspects which he used to tackle social issues, could already be seen at the beginning of his career. Instead of delicately entering the film industry, P. Solan was noticed by the communist functionaries as an artist who wouldn’t be silenced because of his first film – THE DEVIL DOES'NT SLEEP (1956). And because of that earnestness his works have been appreciated at film festivals all over the world. THE BOXER AND DEATH is one of his most famous works, brilliantly reflecting the timeless virtues honoured in Peter Solan’s creations.


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